Sheffield United’s Anel Ahmedhodzic says Bosnia and Herzegovina have made ‘a big mistake’ by agreeing to Russia friendly
Sheffield United centre-back Anel Ahmedhodzic has joined his Bosnian team-mates Edin Dzeko and Miralem Pjanic in refusing to play in November’s friendly against Russia.
Saturday, 10th September 2022, 2:38 pm
Bosnia and Herzegovina have been heavily criticised for agreeing to play a friendly in St Petersburg on November 19, a day before the Qatar World Cup is due to start. Bosnia have not qualified for the tournament, which Russia is barred from.
The Russian football team has become a pariah since the country’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to them being indefinitely banned from international competition.
Former Juventus and Barcelona player Pjanic said he was “speechless” at the decision to play the friendly and ex-Manchester City and Roma forward Djeko added: “I am against the playing of this match, I am always and only for peace. I have my position which is clear and which does not include playing this match, while innocent people are suffering.”
PRINCIPLES: Sheffield United’s Anel Ahmedhodzic has voiced his opposition to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s friendly against Russia
The mayor of Sarajevo is one of the politicians to support them and now Ahmedhodzic has joined the opposition too.
“I was very shocked when I saw it,” he said. “I don’t know what to say except that I’m against that match.
“We all know what happens and it would be a big mistake to play against Russia.
“I have a friend from Ukraine and when I saw this I was really disappointed.”
Ahmedhodzic, who has 18 caps for his country, has been a revelation since joining the Blades from Malmo for around £4m in the summer.
Russia have not played international football since November.
FIFA and UEFA, who have shown their friendliness with Vladimir Putin in the past, and awarded Russia the 2018 World Cup, had their hand forced when Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all refused to play against them in last March’s World Cup qualifiers.
Russia have also organised friendlies in Kyrgyzstan on 24 September, and against Iran in November.